Odd Local Station Question

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by bjoe, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. bjoe

    bjoe Cool Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hi - Sorry I have not been on here in a while and recall a D* 'Local Station Issue' section that I could not find, so apologize if I am posting in the wrong area.

    Here in Austin TX we have a rather odd Local station: KCWX channel 2. It is licensed to Fredricksburg which is technically the Austin DMA, but years ago they 'moved' to San Antonio after becoming a 'My TV' affiliate after the local LIN/Nexstar 'My' affilitate ran them out of town. We used to get on D* but they dropped them at the same time they 'moved DMA'.

    Now, they have just launched an OTA Austin rebroadcast again on channel 2.1 of the San Antonio main signal which is easily received (as well as all 4 subchannels I know D* won't carry), but D* did not add them back. Do they have to now? I can get OTA but don't have the D* Local connector for DVR so would like them to. Is it even worth trying to complain to D*/ATT at this point?

    A few odd notes: They are owned by Corridor TV which has a D* contract and they are on D* in San Antonio DMA.

    Their 'excuse' for being dropped off D* and cable in Austin when becoming a 'My' affiliate is that KBVO (LIN/Nexstar) had the rights, but they have been 'coexisting' with KMYS (Sinclair) in San Antonio for years and I'm not sure the 'My' network' has any exclusive programming left. Now they are OTA directly competing against 2 'My' stations in each market.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  2. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    Local channel signals are based on FCC/Nelson data and for satellite providers they have to go on Zip Code & County information to ensure you get the correct ones.

    When I tried the 78701 zip code for Austin TX it pulls up:
    • MNT - KBVO (Nexstar)
    • CW - KNVA (Nexstar)
    When using 78201 for San Antonio TX this pulls up
    • MNT - KCWX (Corridor)
    • CW - KMYS (Sinclair)
    Also the 78201 zip code gets San Antonio affiliates for every other station (i.e. NBC is WOAI) meanwhile the 78701 zip code is getting Austin affiliates (NBC is KXAN). This is the same results for Dish Network.

    Now the OTA Austin 2.1 signals are a mix of low power & translator stations to expand KCWX's signal back into the Austin, TX DMA. By law cable, IPTV (U-Verse/Verizon FiOS) and satellite providers are not required to carry the main signal (X.1) of any low power or translator station but they have the option to do so.

    Cable, IPTV & satellite providers are not required to carry other sub-channels of any station (X.2 +). Cable & IPTV providers will typically carry the extra sub-channels but satellite providers usually do not except in circumstances where a sub-channel carries a major affiliate. This is due to the limited space for satellite providers on their spot beams.

    Satellite providers only carry a low power/translator station of an affiliate if the DMA lacks a proper affiliation (i.e DirecTV & Dish will use low power/subchannel Fox affiliates in some markets because they lack a full power affiliation.)

    Since the Austin, TX DMA has a full power MyNetworkTV affiliation in KBVO the cable, IPTV and satellite providers must carry that affiliate for that DMA.

    Legally they are forbidden to carry KCWX in place (or alongside) KBVO unless the cable/IPTV/satellite providers & the station owner of KCWX asks for significantly viewed rights for the Austin, TX DMA.

    While KBVO was a semi-satellite of KXAN the satellite providers were able to carry KCWX for this DMA but once KBVO became a full fledged full power station with the MyNetworkTV affiliation this is no longer possible.

    The "MyNetworkTV" programming is for 2 hours Monday-Friday and consists of entirely reruns. MyNetworkTV was created as a stop-gap for any WB/UPN stations that did not become affiliates of The CW. A lot of MyNetworkTV's programming can be found on cable channels (like USA, TNT), the ION OTA Network, on other OTA stations through standalone syndication agreements and streaming services like Hulu, Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max, etc.

    The station owner is responsible for programming the remaining 22 hours on a MyNetworkTV affiliate which is usually syndicated programming, paid programming and news programming (rare). They may have the right to local sports programming not carried by a higher rated station in the market or on national cable/satellite channels (again rare.)

    The CW affiliation is typically seen as more valuable than a MyNetworkTV affiliation because The CW has original programming produced for it from its corporate owners (CBS/WarnerMedia).
  3. bjoe

    bjoe Cool Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Thanks so much. That was a very thorough reply beyond my expectations.

    I do understand the Nielsen DMA/County Zip code thing and this is why I think this station is 'odd'. The Station is licensed to Fredricksburg in Gillespie County which IS in the Austin DMA by county/ZIP code. However, it is really a 'rimshot' to both San Antonio and Austin and not receivable OTA in either city without the LPTV translators. The fact that they 'moved' DMA years ago despite still being physically in the Austin DMA (they are not available on D* in ZIP 78624 which is their FCC city of license) is why I question how they could be dropped in the first place in Austin despite LIN at the time (now Nexstar) raising a stink. Now they are OTA in both DMAs mainly by LPTV (full power over lowly populated ranch country) but not back on D* in their 'home' DMA? It seems like this station doesn't exactly meet the definitions of the 'rules'

    So it sounds like I don't want to wait on hold to get an offshore D* agent without a clue (as was my last experience). If anything I should email the GM of KCWX and ask since they invested in the LPTV network to re-enter Austin DMA, why they don't ask D* for carriage since they already have an agreement in SA for the main 2.1 signal as it is on the D* bird already.

    The interesting thing I noticed since they became available OTA in Austin is that their Main Sponsor is Thomas J Henry. An ambulance chaser lawyer who touts $30 Million winnings against big rig companies. He is based in 'Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi' and also accounts for at least 60% of the commercial load of all the main Austin local network stations as well as the D* local inserts to DVR on national cable networks. It seems he 'owns' most of both Austin and SA media buying and would love to add another D* outlet in Austin for his commericals
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  4. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Note that the satellite providers may choose one of the last few years of DMA maps so they may not always be current with Nielsen.

    DIRECTV's relatively tight Ka spotbeams have been problematic in meeting some of the boundary changes.

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